Franke Sissons’ Chesterfield plant to close within months

Franke Sissons' Carrwood Road plant has been put up for sale.
Franke Sissons' Carrwood Road plant has been put up for sale.

A major Derbyshire manufacturer has put its Chesterfield base up for sale and redundancy notices have been sent out to staff.

Franke Sissons, which makes bathroom and kitchen fittings, announced proposals to move its manufacturing operation to other sites in the UK and Europe late last year.

But now the company’s 61 employees have been formally told the news and the company’s large Carrwood Road base has been put on the market for £4.25 million.

A spokesman told the Derbyshire Times that overcapacity and the ‘complex and fragmented’ nature of the business meant they had ‘no alternative’.

They said: “No company likes to make redundancies and this was especially difficult given the company’s strong emotional links with the community, having been so involved with local charities and youth sponsorship over a number of years.

“The business has however done everything it can to support the ongoing re-employment of those affected by redundancy.

“This includes training with external partners on CV writing and interview skills, pension and benefit clinics, as well as enlisting the assistance of the local Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to ensure that workers leave with formal accreditations.

“We have also been successful in getting some of our workers re-employed with local manufacturing and engineering companies and we are in talks with other national manufacturers and of course the group, to try and find alternative employment where possible for the others.

“We are currently in negotiations to locate to a new office and we will remain active in the community, supporting local good causes and youth sport.

“The company will cease manufacturing over the next few months, with a planned office move for those remaining to take place during the summer of 2016.”

The news comes as a former employee slammed the current management for what he says is its ‘callous’ attitude to the business.

The man, who prefers to remain nameless, said: “When you think that they have been trading for over 200 years it is an absolute disaster.”

Franke Sissons, currently a Chesterfield Champion, has a long history in the region.

The company, which now employs more than 140 people, including 61 at its state-of-the-art Chesterfield factory, started in 1784 in Sheffield as Silversmiths.

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